This week, the Titans revisit two teams they’ve already faced in the Hangzhou Spark and the Dallas Fuel. In each of those previous matches, Vancouver took home 4-0 victories, and developments since then don’t make me think those results will be meaningfully different this time around.
The first match is against Hangzhou, a team who I think are a real dark horse to find their stride and become a powerhouse. It is, admittedly, hard to justify that based on their results—they missed playoffs in Stage 1 and snuck in in Stage 2. But their roster has a lot of talent, and they definitely deserved to be the #4 team in the Stage 2 playoffs. The gradual meta shift into allowing DPS compositions to exist should be good for them: GodsB is basically Carpe again, Krystal might be the best DPS player from China, and Bazzi is a monster on hitscan. Guxue is a star on Winston, and when paired with the defensively-minded Ria on DVa, he can carry the team. The support line is more fine than phenomenal, but you hardly have time to see them before the DPS have ripped your face apart.
Of course, I’m wasting my time a bit theorycrafting the optimal Hangzhou Spark dive composition. For the moment, 3/3 is still king, and the Spark are a decent if unexceptional squad by that metric. Maybe we’ll get to see some DPS and have a skill-off, maybe we won’t, but the Spark aren’t going to be the victors in a 3/3 mirror. At least they have cool posters.
The Titans are just plain better, they won 4-0 once, and they’ll do it again here.
The other opponent is the Dallas Fuel, who look like the perfect team to be the lowest seed of the playoffs. They’re not bad, but they’re not all that good either, instead looking like a physical incarnation of the concept of “fine.” Adding Note to the roster has been a real improvement for them (imagine if they’d just kept good Dva player Seagull…) and AKM’s Zarya has proven surprisingly serviceable along with his good DPS play. But unlike Hangzhou, there are no stars here, and the team coordination just doesn’t approach the level Vancouver deploys every match. There’s not a composition or map or anything that seems like it would put the Fuel in the driver’s seat of a match like Paris did for the Gladiators.
Vancouver will outclass the Fuel in every way, and set at least one map record in the process.